Kids play on the new playground structure at Sunshine Elementary. (James Smith photo)

Kids play on the new playground structure at Sunshine Elementary. (James Smith photo)

New playground open at North Delta’s Sunshine Hills Elementary

Parents at the school raised over $65,000 for the project, with the city contributing $30,000

Kids and families at Sunshine Hills Elementary have a new way to play after a new playground was officially opened this week.

The structure — which includes climbing, strength and balance elements, a lollipop ladder, an overhead trekker, a space walk, a tight rope and a netplex and is intended for kids in Grades 4 through 7 — replaced the rotting wooden structure that had to be removed this past spring.

“[The old structure] had a fire pole that went straight down the centre, and there was a big hole and it was always terrifying to me as a kid to have to launch myself onto that pole and hope that I was going to connect before I go down the big pole,” Delta school board chair and Sunshine Hills alumna Laura Dixon said at the unveiling.

“I like your equipment a lot better.”

The project cost around $100,000 to realize, with the school’s PAC raising more than $65,000 and the City of Delta contributing $30,000 through its Community Initiated Cost Share Program. The Delta School District provided also $20,000 in civil services and in-kind work related to the playground.

Sunshine Hills Elementary PAC president Jayme Campbell-Pomroy, Delta Mayor Lois Jackson, school board chair Laura Dixon and school trustee Nick Kanakos were among a number of city, school and community leaders on hand to cut the ribbon on the school’s new playground structure. (James Smith photo)

“The Sunshine Hills Elementary playground will be used by students during your school hours … but also by the local families in the community, on Saturdays, Sundays and after school. Significant projects like this can’t happen without the support of many many people,” Mayor Lois Jackson said at the unveiling.

“Council knows, all of us know, that playgrounds are really important places for children to develop as children and into adults, and it’s there that you get to play and socialize. It’s a place to meet new friends. Playgrounds also plat a big role in the fabric of your community, … it’s a good place to go as a family.”

Parents at Sunshine Hills had initially been raising money to replace the playground at the front of the school, selling bricks, chocolates and entertainment coupon books, but were informed last September that the wooden structure at the rear of the school would have to be removed first.

“Over the past four years, the process to get a new playground has been a rollercoaster,” Dawn Silver, PAC playground committee chair, said at the unveiling. “We had to change our focus. Our number one priority was to ensure that there was going to be a replacement playground for the children once the wooden structure was torn out.”

“Having fundraised $65,000 to date, we were fortunate enough to receive a grant from the city for $30,000, which allowed us to move forward and make this happen for the school and the community.”

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New playground open at North Delta’s Sunshine Hills Elementary